June 11-14, twelve students came from across all corners of the US, Canada, and Italy to attend the Distributed Trade Hackathon in St. Louis, Missouri. The hackathon was a 24-hour nonstop coding competition for developers to create the best blockchain trade solution within the time-frame. The winning team would receive $20,000, enough to turn any good idea into a startup. Yet to make this hackathon in Missouri accessible, BEN helped cut down on costs to help students to come out by providing: free hackathon entry, a $300 travel stipend provided by BTC Media, and a large Airbnb to avoid students needing to pay for a hotel.
Despite only a handful knowing each other beforehand, the collective relief in being able to talk about blockchain with other enthusiasts created strong bonds. Being able to have in-depth blockchain discussions stands in stark contrast to most local scenes. By the end of the night, the BEN crew had formed teams amongst each other and were ready to dominate.
After a sweaty walk over and quick bite to eat at a nearby diner, the teams checked into the event and began to set up their IDEs. Notable developers in the blockchain space were nearby for quick questions and the participants were very helpful to each other.
The event began at 12pm after opening ceremonies. A whopping 16 teams grabbed available rooms and setup coding nests full of their favorite snacks and beverages. The 3 BEN teams began working on projects relating to identity, “ubering” last-mile delivery, and improvements for cross-atlantic cargo trade logistics, and reducing settlements on exchanges. The teams were hustling throughout the day and into the late night. It wasn’t until 2-5am until participants started to seek out places to refuel on sleep.
At the end of the hackathon, BEN dominated the scoreboard. DIID won the $20k prize and DeliverDAO won the runner-up cash prize.